But Most of All…

Although I don’t typically make resolutions, when a brand new year rolls around it’s pretty difficult to ignore the impetus of new beginnings, the opportunity to change things, do things differently, make significant improvements in one’s personal life and health.

Yesterday, Andi posted a list of “Things I Would Like to Do” in 2011.  That sounded good to me ~ certainly there are things I’d like to do with this New Year, but I accept the fact that time and circumstance may not always make it possible.

In that spirit, then, here is my list:

  • Spend less time on the internet and more time reading books and/or articles of substance
  • Spend more time with my friends, which will require me to make more of an effort to connect with people
  • Write more on both my blogs, and focus on writing well
  • Make some positive headway on two writing projects I’ve had in mind for a few months now
  • Make music more often
  • Learn something new, like the art of creating beautiful handmade cards ( I have several friends who do this, and their cards each holiday season are miniature works of art)
  • Take a yoga class

There’s one other very big thing I hope do to in 2011.  You all may not know it, but  I have a melancholy streak a mile wide and it takes an enormous amount of effort to keep that from ruling my life.  Sometimes, the effort becomes nearly overwhelming ~ those are the days I come home and either collapse on the bed, throw things against the wall, or sit in stony silence until I can gather the courage to continue.  So as I put together a list of things I’m hoping to do this year, this tops the list:

.

One of the things I learned in therapy was that happiness is a state of mind.  “You’re not happy unless you think you’re happy”  says Gretchen Rubin, of The Happiness Project.  So this year I’m making a conscious effort to think about what I need to be happy and trying to make it so.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress <smile>

How about you?  What things would you like to do in 2011?  What brings happiness to your life?

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15 thoughts on “But Most of All…

  1. Wonderful list ! So glad to see you are working through The Happiness Project. I’ve personally learned that if I allow my thoughts to go to the dark, they do, but when I focus on joy, light, and gratitude, I feel more balanced and happy.

    Look forward to sharing your journey.

  2. It’s strange – when I quit my job and started my own business, about ten years down that particular road I became aware I hadn’t felt depressed for some time. Sometimes I worried about meeting deadlines or such – but underneath all that was happiness.

    Since I’ve begun my blog, the feeling’s been reinforced. I don’t always enjoy being up at midnight working on a post, but underneath the tiredness is “happy”.

    In both instances, I think self-forgetfulness has been key. Whenever I’m focusing on something outside myself – varnishing, writing, whatever – I’m happy. I’ve experienced some frustrations, some griefs and some truly unhappy events during these years, but they’ve not been able to touch that foundational happiness. Thank goodness. 😉

    • Linda, I think you’re right about self-forgetfulness. Spending too much time focused on myself and my worries and the long list of things I should be doing sends me rushing down the road to unhappiness. Lately I’ve not had enough opportunity to do the things I lose myself in – notably music and writing. That’s one reason why I’m trying to write more this year -it definitely increases the happiness factor!

      I’m glad you’ve managed to hang on to that foundation of happiness. It’s good to know that’s possible!

  3. Yoga is wonderful for “self-forgetfulness” to borrow Linda’s phrase. I’ve only been doing it for 6 months, but I know there are changes–and i have seen a big difference in my daughter’s outlook since she began. She practices 4 or 5 times a week to my once, and it has given her back aspects of herself that have been gone for five years…

    I know you will continue to write, Becca, and look forward to reading the results. But i hope you will make time for your music; it’s such an essential part of you. Best of luck. If anyone can keep the hounds at bay, it is you!
    Happy–truly happy–New Year!

    • I’ve heard so many people say yoga has made a positive difference in their lives – I’m glad to hear you’re one of them 🙂

      Thank you for your encouragement…music is HUGELY important to me, and I need to find ways to do more of it.

  4. dear B,
    There is just always so much going on – in terms of input and output that we are all (often) overwhelmed and just don’t or can’t admit it. But you face your truths and write wonderful blogs and throughout all of it, I hear the music, and how important music is to you. Your words, too. I hope you indulge both enormously this year, that is, playing music and singing and writing, writing, writing, writing, with every whole breath.
    We love hearing you, and hearing from you.
    Onward!

  5. As much as I hate New Year’s resolutions, I think they have a positive side. They make us take a look at ourselves and at least become aware of areas we need to improve.
    The sadness/depression may be genetic. I suffer from it greatly in the winter months, (SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder) and now that I know it’s chemical in-balance in the brain, I can usually cope. I try to always have a lot of lights on which helps greatly. Come spring and summer when there is more light and days are longer, I seem to be fine.
    Anyway, my list:
    *Be nicer to my husband – sometimes I’m just a b–ch and I know it.
    *Exercise more – I have free use of the fitness center at work – no reason other than laziness not to use it
    *Pray more and have a more optimistic outlook on things. I’m really not a very “religious” person, (although I go to church every Sunday – figure that one out) but I do believe in the power of prayer and how “stinkin’ thinkin’ ” can hamper your life.

    If I just can do those three things, it is bound to affect all other areas of my life and I’m sure to have a better 2011.

    • Bonnie, I love your list and could easily adopt every single item on it for my own- you and I are definitely genetically related! I’ve been doing pretty well in the exercise department, though there’s always room for improvement. As for the b–chiness – much improvement needed there, I’m afraid!

      I hope you have a wonderful year 🙂 We should resolve to get together this year!

  6. Well, this is perfect. What we’d like to do, not obligation but intention. What a good and fulfilling list.

    As for me, I want to move more — whether it is at the gym or otherwise, not to be pretty but to get healthy. I want to be more diligent at making my other blog something worth coming back to — or at least something with a semi-regular post! And, I want to create things when I’m not under deadline or looking toward a sale, but because I want to create, experiment and play. I would like to teach a class — maybe card or tagmaking, but something.

    And I want to continue to make time to visit the people online who so inspire me — whether its online or maybe even face-to-face! (So watch out — you never know!)

  7. I wish I could take a Card making class with you! Somewhere half way between here and Lansing 🙂

    Seriously, we should meet up in Ann Arbor come spring – have lunch in Kerrytown and go to the paper store there.

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